OXFORDSHIRE health bosses have been selected to lead the way in delivering a new health visiting service.

Earlier this year the Government announced plans to train an extra 4,200 health visitors across England by 2015 to make sure every family with children under five has support available.

It is the equivalent to a 50 per cent increase in the workforce.

As part of its plan, the Government announced that it would be setting up ‘Health Visiting Early Implementer Sites’ and Oxfordshire has been selected as one of 23 of the sites. The areas which have been selected showcase some of the best health visiting practice in the country.

They will act as mentors to the rest of the country and it is hoped this will increase numbers of health visitors, boost the profile locally of the profession and share learning from the development process with other NHS Trusts.

Julie Waldron, Chief Executive of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “Health visitors are pivotal in helping children and families. Health Visitors are key in delivering preventative healthcare and play a massive part in improving health outcomes for Oxfordshire’s communities.”